segunda-feira, 10 de novembro de 2014

Timor Leste’s despot ruler - time to go Xanana!


By Ted McDonnell - Ted McDonnell

XANANA Gusmao was once considered a great freedom fighter. Today, in Timor Leste he is considered a despot despised by political opponents, favoured by the corrupt political elite, and joked about by the man in the street.

Gusmao, now half way through his second term as Prime Minister either needs to step down, before he has his Berlusconi moment, or be removed by his own party.

Two senior members of CNRT believe the reason Gusmao has survived so long is that “the people are afraid of him”.

“This is a man who threatens people on the street, in parliament, everywhere. People are afraid of him,” the senior Minister said.

“The sacking of the judges and anti-corruption investigators is because he could not get his way. We lost the oil tax cases, the corruption trial of boina Pires was about to begin and the only way for Xanana to stop losing face locally was to get rid of anyone who disagreed with him.”

It is believed KAK (corruption investigators) are investigating as many as eight of Gusmao’s closest allies in government.

Another high profile CNRT Minister contacted said: “He should go, we know that. He is destroying this country and protecting the dodo (corrupt).”

Ask why he is protecting the corrupt he said: “He knows if they are charged with corruption, he might also be implicated. The oil deals he has done with his nephew have always been questionable and the first contract with Nilton (Nilton Gusmao) was signed off my Ms Pires.”

“The sacking of the Portuguese judges over the oil taxes was just a plot to take the attention away from what maun Xanana’s real worry the corruption of his friends."

Fretilin leaders are sitting back watching Gusmao implode believing he is damaging his own legacy, or what’s left of it, and Timor Leste’s reputation internationally.

“We are just sitting back and watching and waiting,” one Fretilin leader said. “Never interrupt your opponent whilst he is making a mistake.”

However, many believe Fretilin are just as weak as those in the CNRT Party who want Xanana gone.

Sources say senior ministers within the Australian and Portuguese governments are bemused by Gusmao’s recent irrational behaviour, but refuse to comment officially on Timor Leste’s internal politics believing Gusmao’s time as PM is coming to a close.

Many observers believe Gusmao's time as PM has been a disaster for his tiny nation.
Poverty, malnutrition, unemployment, non-existent health care remain at third world standards, and very little has been done over the two terms of CNRT's reign in government to stem the plight of the Timorese people.

Despite its rapidly depleting Petroleum Fund tens of millions of dollars have been spent on monuments to Gusmao.

Many millions have also been stolen from the public purse.

There is little doubt new media laws, soon to be promulgated by Timor Leste President, Taur Matan Ruak have been designed by Gusmao to stop media criticism of his government's financial mismanagement, the corruption investigations into the political elite and further scrutiny into oil contracts given to Gusmao's favoured nephew Nilton Gusmao, who has had hundreds of million dollars worth of petroleum contracts handed to him by Uncle Xanana.

No one can deny Xanana Gusmao was a great freedom fighter for his people, but as a politician he has been an abject failure and has let the Timorese down badly, in fact, many believe he has betrayed them by protecting the corrupt in his government, and at the same time has been handing his family members millions, and millions of dollars in contracts.

One former Anti-Corruption (KAK) investigator expelled from Timor Leste by the Gusmao government says he has evidence, which he has taken with him, proving Gusmao has allegedly been involved in many corrupt acts.

In an exclusive in Expresso, a leading subscription based Portuguese publication, the former KAK investigator made the startling claim that he has evidence with him that proves PM Gusmao has also committed alleged corruption.

Jose Brito said he was also threatened by "Xanana's thugs".

Brito went to Timor-Leste in 2009 and was integrated into the United Nations mission. A year later he moved to the Anti-Corruption Commission created by the Timorese government.

He says he is confident from his experience and evidence before him to say that "corruption is endemic in Timor-Leste".

"From the various state services, such as police to construction, to the top of the Government", he said in Expresso, adding that Xanana Gusmão is included in a long list of corrupt activities.

"Xanana? I have no doubt that he is involved in corruption. And I have proof. I sent them in a container to Portugal," he adds.

Brito alleged that "there are several cases involving Xanana. Such as rice contracts involving daughter and the fuel business involving his nephew."

"The system is so corrupt that it all ends up in disasters. Works do not have quality, the designs are bad and use and abuse of emergencies to make direct single source contract awards," he concludes.

Gusmao's latest actions of sacking the judiciary and threatening anyone who speaks out against him, are as those of a despot ruler struggling to hang on to power. He knows many of his "loyal" CNRT members are plotting behind the scenes.

Currently, Gusmao has everyone in Timor Leste scared of him, but also scared of what he might do next, but there are movements within his own party lobbying for him to be removed as Prime Minister before he causes any further local or international disasters.

Most believe it is better for him to retire at his own hand, rather than the people of Timor Leste to rise up against another dictatorial regime.

The people of Timor Leste deserve better than that!

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